MANILA - A congressional inquiry that pried into the sexual relations between Sen. Leila de Lima and her former driver had "no malice" or intention to shame, a House leader said Friday.
Deputy Speaker Fred Castro said he wanted to "test the credibility" of Ronnie Dayan, who alleged Thursday that he had collected money for De Lima from confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa in 2014.
"Walang malisya ang aking pagtatanong... walang regrets. I stand by my questions," Castro told ABS-CBN News.
The congressman asked Dayan if his love for De Lima was "pure, strong and everlasting" ("wagas, dalisay at matatag").
Castro also wanted to know if the relationship satisfied the "demands of the flesh" ("pagpawi sa init ng katawan").
Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas used storm signals to ask how intense the relationship was, saying at one point: "Ano ang pinakasukdulan at pinakamataas na signal na inabot 'nyo?"
Dean Soledad Mawis of the Lyceum School of Law questioned the "materiality" of such questions since congressmen were supposedly inquiring about drug trafficking at the state penitentiary to review existing legislation.
"Anong 'in aid of legislation' ang pinatutukoy ng mga nangyari kahapon?" said Mawis, who specializes in family law.
(How was what happened yesterday in aid legislation?)
"Kasi nga ang nangyayari pinapi-piyestahan. Kawawa naman."
(They feasted on the issue. It's pitiful.)
Castro said perceptions that congressmen "feasted on" or "ridiculed" De Lima were only "incidental" to the inquiry into illegal drug activities.
Castro said he came to the conclusion that Dayan was "probably telling the truth" about De Lima because he testified despite their 7-year relationship.
"Ang isa bang tao na meron kang utang na loob ay pwede mong ipagkanulo dahil lamang sa pananakot, sa gantimpala, o sa kung ano pang konsiderasyon o kahit ano pang pwersa?" the congressman said.
(If a person is indebted, is it that easy for him to turn his back just because he is being threatened or offered a reward?)